The Scope demise leaves void in St. John's, prof says

A journalism professor is mourning the loss of an alternative newspaper in St. John's.
A journalism professor says the demise of The Scope leaves an opening for others. 4:41

A journalism professor is mourning the loss of the alternative The Scope newspaper in St. John's.

SueNewhook, a professor at King's College School of Journalism in Halifax​, doesn't believe its demise is part of any global move from print publications to digital media.

In fact, she says The Scope had a niche following that catered to, and informed, a diverse readership.

"The amount of support they gave to small businesses, restaurants and artists, with things like The Best of St. John's awards ... There's a gap there that needs to be filled. But there's also that kind of saucy, lippy voice that you don't necessarily get with more traditional newspapers," Newhook said.

A mainstay of the St. John's arts and entertainment scene, The Scope is a monthly independent and locally-owned paper co-founded by Elling Lien and BryhannaGreenough more than seven years ago.

There's also that kind of saucy, lippy voice that you don't necessarily get with more traditional newspapers.- Sue Newhook, journalism professor

It has also been a free publication, and available in the greater St. John's-Mount Pearl area.

Lien and Greenough plan to publish the last edition in December, saying a number of factors led to their decision to shut down the paper — including not being able to pay themselves appropriately over the years.

Newhook said Lien first floated the idea for a paper like The Scope while he was her student at King's College.

She said he took it to "the real world" after he graduated, against the advice of others.

"He had talked to some people on faculty about setting it up," said Newhook. "He said they had a little money and wanted to start a newspaper. And some of us went, 'Yeah honey, why don't you buy a house?'"

As a St. John's native, she said she'll be sad to see The Scope go, but also believes there's still an opportunity for someone else to fill the void.

"The city has a great tradition with alternative newspapers. So, hopefully that's something maybe someone would look at doing something with. I would really hope that there's a future for another [The] Scope, or something like a Scope."

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